Saracens: Tony Rowe, Exeter chief executive, says salary cap penalty ‘not severe enough’

Tony Rowe (left) has been involved at Exeter for more than 20 years

Exeter chief executive Tony Rowe says Premiership champions Saracens should be relegated for breaching salary cap rules.

Saracens face a 35-point deduction and £5.36m fine after an investigation into business partnerships between chairman Nigel Wray and some of their players.

Rowe’s Exeter lost to Saracens in each of the past two Premiership finals.

“We, for a number of years, have suspected they’ve been infringing the salary cap,” he told BBC Radio Devon.

“But I don’t think the penalty is severe enough. You take away 35 points this year – they could still be in the semi-finals and could still end up at Twickenham [in the Premiership final].”

Asked what would be a fair punishment, Rowe said: “Relegation – in professional sport in America, if you’re in breach of the salary cap you get thrown out completely.”

European champions Saracens described the sanctions as “heavy-handed”.